2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | 5 things you should know

Sales data show that the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is among the best hybrid SUV models on sale in the United States. Toyota promptly releases new versions to keep the vehicle attractive to buyers for sustained periods. This time around, there’s a new adventure-focused variant that gets added to the MY2023 RAV4 range. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets a new Woodland Edition that bolsters its off-road credentials, while the rest of the variants get more equipment in the cabin.

Here are all the things you should know about the latest update:

Design

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid remains identical to the previous model year in terms of design. However, the Woodland Edition adds some bling to the exterior. The most visually distinctive upgrades on the special edition are the Falken Wildpeak All-terrain tires wrapped around Flow-Formed Bronze Colored wheels and chunky roof rails with cross bars.

It also gets black badging all around—the badges are hard to spot on the Midnight Black Metallic paint option, and customers might want to choose the contrasting Cavalry Blue or Ice Cap colors. These are the only three paint options of the 2023 RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has as many as 13 paint options.

The special edition also gets black mudguards and dual gloss black exhaust tips. That said, the 2023 RAV4 Hybrid continues to sport a muscular stance. It gets wraparound LED headlamps upfront and an upright bonnet. The squared-off wheel arches lend it a rugged look, while the 17- and 18- inch alloy options appear stylish. The new Woodland Edition with the additions mentioned above makes the RAV4 Hybrid appear adventure-ready.

Interior

Larger screens

The interior layout remains identical to the outgoing version, but there’s more equipment on offer. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets upgraded screens. An 8-inch touchscreen (previously 7-inch) is standard on the Hybrid LE, XLE, XLE Premium, and SE variants, while the Hybrid XSE and Limited trims get a larger 10.5-inch touchscreen. 

A 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster is now standard on the range-topping Hybrid Limited variant. XLE Premium and XSE customers who don’t prefer the semi-digital cluster (analog dials and a multi-information display) can upgrade to the 12.3-inch unit, while a 7-inch unit is now standard on the lower variants.

Upgraded Toyota Audio Multimedia

All variants of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid get an updated Toyota Audio Multimedia system. The system, developed by the Texas-based Connected Technology team, gets over-the-air (OTA) updates capability. Customers will also get optional access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation, Destination Assist, and Google Points-Of-Interest (POI) data.

The vehicle continues to feature Bluetooth, wireless Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay, optional Wi-Fi Connect with 4G, and connection for up to 5 devices—practically turning the Toyota RAV4 into an AT&T hotspot. Wi-Fi Connect also enables access to Apple Music and Amazon Music subscriptions.

The Woodland Edition also gets a 120V inverter to power a range of household appliances and devices if the need arises during camping or road trips. The special edition also gets all-weather floor and cargo mats. 

Safety

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 hybrid gets Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 (TSS 2.5) as standard. The previous version was equipped with TSS 2.0. A new feature includes the ability to detect oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists at intersections. The Pre-Collision System provides audio-visual alerts and can even autonomously apply brakes in emergencies. The Emergency Steering Assist can also stabilize drivers’ evasive maneuvers to prevent lane departure. 

TSS 2.5 also includes the Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The feature maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in the front at any speed and can take over braking and acceleration depending on the pace of the cars ahead. DRCC works with Lane Trace Assist and Lane Departure Alert that help the vehicle stay centered in its lane by providing slight steering assistance. More active safety systems include Blind Spot Monitor, Road Sign Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Parking Assist.

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Specifications

The SUV remains unchanged in terms of powertrain. Underpinning the RAV4 is the Toyota New Global Architecture-K (TNGA-K) platform. Under the hood is the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) that works with the 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, Atkinson Cycle gas engine. Two electric motors, a front- and a rear-axle-mounted motor, draw energy from a 1.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. Those worried about battery life would appreciate that it gets ten year/150,000 miles warranty.

The front electric motor produces 118 hp while the rear contributes 55 hp. Front/rear torque output is 149/80 lb-ft. The Peak system output is 219 hp. The power and torque go to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Torque to the rear wheels gets channeled independently as there’s no additional driveshaft at the rear. The electronic all-wheel-drive can help drivers power out of low-grip situations.

Toyota makes some of the world’s best hybrid systems, and the efficiency is likewise. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid provides a combined fuel economy of 40 mpg (Toyota estimate). The results are most noticeable in low-speed driving conditions where the RAV4 Hybrid can run on pure electric energy for short durations. There’s constant brake energy recuperation in stop-and-go traffic thanks to frequent braking—the battery regains energy to power the motors.

Customers can toggle between five drive modes: Sport, Normal, Eco, EV, and Trail Mode. The drive modes can be altered using a rotary dial on the center console.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SpecificationsValue
Length (in.)180.9
Width (in.)73
Height (in.)67
Wheelbase (in.)105.9
Engine2.5 liter, 4 cyl
E-motorsFront and rear
Combined Power219 hp
E-motor power (front/rear)118 hp / 54 hp
E-motor torque (front/rear)149 lb-ft / 89 lb-ft
Battery1.6 kWh li-ion
Mileage40 mpg
2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Specifications according to Toyota USA website.

TRD-Tuned suspension

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition gets sophisticated suspension tuned by the Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the brand’s performance division with close ties to its motorsport programs. The Japanese carmaker states that the suspension has been engineered to improve body control and isolate the cabin from the road undulations. It’s more off-road focused and gets bump stops to maximize wheel travel during compression. It gets twin-tube dampers with internal rebound springs and unique valves to keep the SUV stable over rough surfaces.

Price & Release Date

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 will reach dealerships by fall 2022. Toyota North America (TNA) has not released U.S. prices yet for the 2023 model. Expect that to happen in the coming weeks, ahead of showroom arrivals. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid price starts at USD 29,575 (MSRP), excluding taxes, handling, and destination charges. Given the additional standard equipment, TNA may charge a slight premium over the 2022 model. The Woodland Edition may cost around USD 38,000.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Sales

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the best-selling Toyota hybrid car in the United States. It is among the few hybrid vehicles that have witnessed year-over-year sales growth. In Q1 2022, the brand sold 38,952 units of the electrified SUV, a 32.2% increase over Q1 2021, when 29,471 units were sold. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s main rivals include the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Honda CR-V Hybrid.

The large-scale adoption of hybrids isn’t a realistic vision any longer, considering that several electric cars with long-range batteries will soon come available at the same price point. The non-hybrid RAV4’s quarterly sales are comparable to the RAV4 hybrid’s yearly sales, indicating that the masses prefer the gas-only version due to multiple reasons like comparatively high purchase prices and maintenance costs.

Featured Image Source: Toyota